In Mississippi’s Hinds County, election officials faced an unexpected hurdle as they raced to complete mandatory poll worker training after a cyber breach compromised county computers in early September.
Typically, this training should be wrapped up by early October in preparation for the November general election. Due to the computer system unavailability, staff members had to work up until the last minute to finish the training, causing some delays in their election preparations. The cyber incident temporarily hindered the county’s ability to process voter registration forms, but they managed to recover and process all applications by the October 10 deadline. Despite these challenges, officials stated that Hinds County is now on track for the upcoming general election.
Hinds County, Mississippi, is significant due to its status as the state’s most populous county, home to the capital city of Jackson. It boasts around 167,000 registered voters and is an essential source of Democratic votes, with Joe Biden winning the county by a significant margin in the 2020 presidential election. Federal authorities initiated an investigation into the cyber breach after Hinds County computers were compromised in early September.
Although the county’s computer network is reported to be “functioning again,” the investigation is ongoing, and additional details have not been disclosed. Some additional disruptions occurred in late October due to an inaccessible state website and temporary challenges in verifying voter registration information for poll workers, but these issues have since been resolved. Despite these setbacks, election officials are confident that the county will be ready for the general election, which includes critical races such as governor and secretary of state.